The Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister's Prize   

on  01/11/2017 
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For Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation
​Top fuel prize endowed by Keren Hayesod benefactors Eric and Sheila Samson presented to scientists from France and Sweden.
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From left to right: Chairman of the Keren Hayesod World Board of Trustees, David Koschitzky; Prof. Jens Nielsen; Prof. Jean-Marie Tarascon; Lili Samson; Science Minister Ofir Akunis; World Chairman of Keren Hayesod, Eliezer (Moodi) Sandberg; Professor Yitzhak Apeloig and Dr. Anat Bonshtien of the Alternative Fuels Administration.

Scientists and entrepreneurs from 30 countries gathered in Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening for the presentation of the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize, awarded annually for groundbreaking research in the fields of smart mobility and alternative fuel technology. Endowed by leading Keren Hayesod benefactors Eric and Sheila Samson, the prize, which includes a $1 million monetary award, is the largest of its kind in the world.
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From left to right: World Chairman of Keren Hayesod, Eliezer (Moodi) Sandberg; Prof. Jens Nielsen; Prof. Jean-Marie Tarascon; Chairman of the Keren Hayesod World Board of Trustees, David Koschitzky.
Presented under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space and Keren Hayesod, the 2017 prize was awarded to Prof. Jean-Marie Tarascon of the College de France in Paris and Prof. Jens Nielsen of Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg.
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Prof. Jean-Marie Tarascon.

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Prof. Jens Nielsen.


Representing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the event, which is part of a two-day Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Summit, Eli Groner, the director general of the Prime Minister’s Office, paid tribute to Eric and Sheila Samson. Special recognition was also accorded to the Samson’s granddaughter Lili who was present at the event and took part in the conferring of the award. Particular mention was made of her “family's remarkable leadership and philanthropic work in Israel.”
Addressing the audience by video, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underlined the importance of ridding the world of its dependence on oil. He noted that Israel has set a goal of reducing its oil consumption by 60% by 2025.
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to the award ceremony by video.

The World Chairman of Keren Hayesod, Eliezer (Moodi) Sandberg, who is a former Israeli minister of science himself, recalled that scientific concepts which were just ideas when he was in the Israeli cabinet are now actually being applied. He paid a moving tribute to Eric and Sheila Samson, calling them “leaders of the Jewish world in our time.” He thanked them for their leadership in Keren Hayesod, in the Jewish world and in the field of fuel choices and smart mobility.
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World Chairman of Keren Hayesod -UIA, Eliezer (Moodi) Sandberg.

The Samsons, who were unable to fly to Israel due to medical limitations, watched the event live-streamed on the Internet from California. A statement from them that was read to the gathering wished the delegates attending the fuel summit “a wonderful stay in our beloved Israel.”
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Aviv Elkarif and Lili Samson.

David Koschitzky, the Chairman of the Keren Hayesod World Board of Trustees, told the crowd: “It is my privilege to be associated with the Samsons.” Koschitzky spoke of the magnanimous generosity that the Samsons have demonstrated to Keren Hayesod and noted their outstanding support for Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon and, of course, their funding for the Prime Minister’s Prize in Alternative Fuels.
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Chairman of the Keren Hayesod World Board of Trustees, David Koschitzky.

Dr. Anat Bonshtien of the Alternative Fuels Administration in the Prime Minister’s Office noted that not only is the Samson Prize the largest of its kind in the world, but it also attracted more nominees this year than ever before.
In their remarks to the audience, the two prize recipients also paid tribute to the Samsons and the Samson prize. Prof. Jens Nielsen called the award “visionary” while Prof. Jean-Marie Tarascon added: “Dear Samson family, I am honored to be a recipient,” also noting the outstanding research that is being done in Israel.
 
Photos: Avi Hayun, for Keren Hayesod
 
 

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